Sunday, December 18, 2011
This year, my goal is to put some effort into Christmas again. Holidays aren't difficult for us anymore, but during the two or three years when they were, I got into the habit of doing the bare minimum, and then inertia took over and I never bothered to ramp back up.
On top of that, for a couple of years now G has been in the Preteen Killjoy phase that most of us went through at the same age, during which you don't want to do anything that might be remotely embarrassing or make you look childish. (She was mortified that her school had "Santa's Village" out in the quad last week, until I said "They don't actually think you believe in Santa, it's for fun. Remember fun? That thing you'll have again once you're old enough not to worry that someone will think you're immature?") This eliminated most of our traditional leading-up-to-Christmas activities, such as visiting Santa, riding the Polar Express train, making snowman crafts out of cotton balls, etc., and made it even harder to get in the Christmas mood--a condition that a friend of mine described last year as "lack of Christmas foreplay."
With these things in mind, this year I'm taking a combined approach of:
1. Not being a lazy slug. I put the tree and lights up in early December and have plugged them in every night; I went out and bought new ornaments to replace the ones we lost, and I'm actually sending a few cards for the first time since 2005. I also bought an additional, tiny, real tree to put on a high shelf in hopes of infusing some pine scent into the house--we can't have a full-size real tree because one of our cats likes to eat greenery--but somehow I managed to choose a totally odorless one. Oh well, it looks nice.
2. Finding acceptable Christmas activities. In G's defense, she's right: a lot of local holiday-themed events are geared to very small children--we had the same problem at Halloween, when she would have loomed like Gulliver among the Lilliputians at the various face-painting, pumpkin-decorating, costume-parading festivals, but was too young for haunted houses aimed at teenagers--and she doesn't have younger siblings to give her a reason to attend anyway. Instead, we've been watching more grown-up Christmas movies, listening to Christmas music together at home, and drinking hot chocolate and apple cider, all of which she's enjoyed. Hopefully we'll get around to baking cookies sometime next week.
This year is also a little different from previous ones in that for once, there's no place we're required to be on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. G, whose idea of a perfect day involves pajamas, video games and not much else, is ecstatic, and I'm looking forward to spending the time quietly at home. I may be putting more into "making Christmas" this time around, but I'm still all about doing things my own way.